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Institute for Advanced Manufacturing Rolling Toward Completion


Tuesday, February 28, 2017


From the Plattsburgh Press Republican
By Dan Heath, February 27, 2017
Photo by Rob Fountain


Institute for Advanced Manufacturing Rolling Toward Completion


PLATTSBURGH — The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at Clinton Community College is on time and on budget.

Clinton Community College President Ray DiPasquale said Monday that the 30,000-square-foot building is about 70 percent complete and will open for the fall semester. Construction is expected to conclude in May, followed by the transfer of the college's technology programs from their present locations after spring graduation.

He thanked the design team at AES Northeast and the contracting team, led by Murnane Building Contractors, for their work so far.

"We're ahead of schedule, and just as important, we're on budget," he said.

HIGH BAY AREA

Clinton Community College Director of Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Kristopher Renadette then led one of three tours through the structure.

He said the entire facility was designed with flexibility in mind, to meet the present and future training needs of manufacturers and students who will make up their workforce.

The tour started on the first floor in the High Bay area, with 7,000 square feet of space and 30-foot high ceilings. It will house a machine shop, welding lab and student project area, as well as the equipment that manufacturers provide for specific training sessions.

There will also be a heavy-duty crane, donated by Georgia-Pacific and modified by Jeffords Steel, to help with moving equipment.

FAB LAB

The first floor also includes the Flexible Manufacturing Lab, 5,000 square feet of space with 15-foot ceilings. It will house a FAB lab and Mechatronics Lab.

The former is an innovation hub that will include equipment such as 3D printers to help bring concepts to reality.

The latter is space where mechanical, electrical, computer and automation control systems are mastered individually and then in conjunction.

The first floor will also have space for a computer technology lab and electronics technology lab.

OBSERVATION DECK

The second floor is home to a conference room that will also be used for distance learning, with instruction beamed in or sent out. Connections are in place for state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment, including two 90-inch and two 60-inch flatscreens.

That space will also be available for businesses to hold video conferences or training sessions with their other offices around the world.

There is a computer lab, available to students for independent work when it is not in use for classes.

Two 50-seat classrooms have a divider that can be opened to create one large one for up to 100 students.

A student lounge/observation deck allows views of the entire High Bay area, for watching operations without having to go out on the floor.

STATE FUNDING

Clinton Community College Board of Directors Chairman David Favro said as rewarding as it is to see the progress, even more important was the dedication and hard work that went into securing funding for the project.

"It's an exciting moment for the campus at Clinton Community College, it's an exciting moment for everybody in the community to look forward to sending their children to this facility, this campus for an education that will help businesses that are wanting to come to our community to grow and better the state of New York and our entire country," he said.

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas thanked the college for responding to the necessity for such a facility and its importance to economic development of the region.

He thanked the state for the funding to make the project possible.

The college was awarded up to $12.7 million in state funding in September 2014 as part of the SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program. 

Construction is expected to cost $9.1 million, while soft costs, such as furnishings, will increase the total price to about $11.4 million.

SOME UNIQUE THINGS

Douglas said the team at the college deserves credit for its willingness to meet the needs of manufacturers.

"They sought and took the advice of the business, corporate and manufacturing community to design this building," he said. "They came up with a preliminary sketch and really let the
manufacturers in this area play with it."

The facility will be a platform for partnership between Clinton Community and other educational institutions such as Clarkson University and Champlain College in Longueuil, Quebec. The latter is one of the primary training centers for the transportation equipment and aerospace sector in Quebec.

"There's going to be some unique things going on here. It's going to be exciting to watch that play out," Douglas said.

TREMENDOUS STEP

Empire State Development Vice President for Strategic Business Development Michael Morse said that, in his role in attracting large and/or innovative manufacturers, one constant issue is workforce. The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing is a tremendous step in the right direction, he said.

"This facility is so right in so many ways," he said. "This is going to be a model, if it isn't already, for other regions of the state. This is a public/private partnership as it's meant to be."

DiPasquale said the college is in discussions with numerous companies about their training needs and how the college can meet those needs. He said he is proud to come in as president of the college as it takes on an even larger role in workforce development.

"What an amazing accomplishment to have this in our county and to have this on the campus at Clinton Community College," he said.